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GP training Labour’s latest U-turn in health

GP training Labour’s latest U-turn in health

Mere months after saying there was no crisis in the rural health workforce, Health Minister Pete Hodgson has abruptly U-turned on his Government’s stance on rural health, says National’s Associate Health spokeswoman (Rural Health), Jo Goodhew.

She is commenting on the Government’s announcement that it will increase the number of GP Registrar places by 15, with a particular focus on rural placements.

“This latest U-turn comes on top of Labour’s about-face on elective services only yesterday,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“First, Labour accused National of scare-mongering on the electives crisis and waiting list culls, then changed their mind and cried crocodile tears for the thousands of patients they culled.

“Now, only months after telling an Education and Research in Rural Health Conference that the GP shortage was a National Party beat-up and he was sick of hearing about it, Health Minister Pete Hodgson has done yet another U-Turn.

“An extra 15 GP Registrar places falls well short of what’s needed to address the shortage of rural health professionals. It is inadequate and too late.

“Increasing GP Registrar places only addresses half the problem. Unless the Government focuses on rural immersion early in training then they are wasting their time.

“Not only do we need to train more GP registrars, we need to have a far stronger focus on rural immersion, and cut taxes to encourage doctors to stay in New Zealand.”


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